Microgreens may be small but they pack a nutritious and tasty punch. Gram for gram, microgreens contain about five times more vitamins than if grown to mature vegetables.
While they may be expensive to buy in-store, they’re easy and fun to grow at home. Add to salads, sandwiches and stir-fries — or just about any dish begging for some fresh flavor.
What is a microgreen? Simply put, any vegetable plant harvested when it’s young. The best time to harvest is when they’ve developed their first set of true leaves, about 10 days to two weeks after planting. Then, clip off just above soil level.
Here are a few popular varieties to grow as microgreens.
Five Best-tasting Microgreens:
1. Radishes. One of the quickest growing microgreens, radishes can be harvested within 10 to 12 days of sowing. Sango, Red Arrow, Japanese Daikon and Triton are popular varieties for their bright leaf and stem colors.
2. Peas. Delicate, sweet, pea-flavored shoots add nutrients to salads, sandwiches, soups and more. Soak seeds in clean, cool water for 8 to 10 hours before planting. Harvest within 10 to 12 days.
Let the pea microgreens grow a little longer, a little taller, and harvest them as “pea shoots” for a stir-fry.
3. Swiss chard. Part of the beet family, the greens look similar to beet greens but have less of a bite. Growing in a rainbow of colors, the best variety is by far Rainbow. Grow only in soil, however, as Swiss chard doesn’t like to be grown hydroponically. Harvest within 12 to 14 days.
4. Mustards. Mustard microgreens taste as strong as their adult counterparts. Choose green varieties or create a colorful plate with varieties such as Osaka Purple and Red Giant. Harvest within 14 to 16 days.
5. Beet greens. Beet greens, with their crisp bite and spinach-like flavor, are a delight to grow. Bull’s Blood and Detroit Dark Red are popular varieties. Soak seeds in clean, cool water for 8 to 10 hours before planting. Harvest within 18 days.